An Egyptian Air Force F-16 during a in-flight refuelling training with a USAF KC-135 in 2007 (Image © Staff Sgt. Amy Abbott / US Air Force)

US clears the way for new F-16s for Egyptian Air Force

The Barack Obama administration has cleared the way for the Egyptian Air Force to receive its 12 Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon multirole fighters, as part of the last order of 16 single-seat C- and 4 two-seat D-versions, news agency Bloomberg reports.

The delivery was paused after violent clashes between the Egyptian population and the military, after the latter seized control of the country in a soft coup d’etat in 2013. For more than half a year Egypt now has President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi as an elected head of state, making the US opening up to ship the remainder of the F-16 order.

Egyptian Air Force F-16s have recently been engaged in fighting so-called Islamic State forces in Libya, and might even contribute to the Saudi-led Operation Decisive Storm in Yemen. Both involvements serve US national security interests.

Egypt has a substantial F-16 fleet, consisting of 228 aircraft Block 42 standard or higher. Older A and B models have been upgraded. Newer C and D versions are the most numerous.

© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger
Featured image: An Egyptian Air Force F-16 during a in-flight refuelling training with a USAF KC-135 in 2007 (Image © Staff Sgt. Amy Abbott / US Air Force)